OAU Students Protest Over ASUU Strike, Back Union On Demands From Federal Government

OAU Students Protest Over ASUU Strike, Back Union On Demands From Federal Government

Students of Obafemi Awololwo University, Ile-Ife under the auspices of the Great Ife Concerned Students in conjunction with Fund Education Coalition, on Thursday protested against the ongoing industrial action embarked upon by the members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.

The students in their protest solidarized with the striking lecturers and carried placards with various inscriptions to communicate their demands from the Federal Government.

They called on the Federal Government to reopen negotiations with ASUU and reach a lasting compromise on the issues between the two parties in order for them to quickly return to class and continue their studies.

One of the protesters identified as Adedayo Bamidele who spoke on behalf of others said the protests will continue as long as the government refused to grant the requests by their lecturers.

"As you can see the protest has been peaceful. Our demand is that the Federal Government should meet the demands of ASUU for us to immediately immediately go back to school. We want the Federal Government to fund the education as demanded by ASUU, just the way they are funding other sectors which might not even be considered as important as education.

"We are continuing the struggle tomorrow and it will go on until the Federal Government grant our demand and reopen our institutions. Tomorrow's protest will hold at OUI roundabout", Bamidele said.

The Chairman of ASUU, OAU branch, Dr. Adeola Egbedokun while addressing journalists at the scene of the protest lamented the insensitivity on the part of the Federal Government to the Union's demands for the revitalization of the nation's public universities which he said has been majorly responsible for the incessant strike actions by the Union over the years.

The Osun State Commissioner of Police whose convoy was held up for hours in the Students' barricade on the Ife/Ede road in front of the University campus appealed to the students to remain peaceful in their agitation.

"What is happening here is nationwide. It is not peculiar here in Osun State. You have the right to protest and demonstrate as long as such protest is peaceful. What I can see here is that your protest is peaceful and this should not change", Olokode said.

ASUU had, on Monday nounced an extension of its strike which began on February 14, by another 12 weeks over what they described as the Federal Government refusal to honour the agreement jointly signed in 2009.

The Union had blamed the strike embarked upon by its members on the failure of the Federal Government to fund and revitalize the nation's public universities.

Other issues the Union has with the Federal Government include the controversial Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System which the lecturers have rejected on the claim of its inconsistency and operational defects.

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